Mohammad Hafeez‘s criticism of Sharjeel Khan‘s return to competitive cricket hasn’t gone down well with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Wasim Khan. Also Read - Coronavirus: Pakistan Coach Misbah-ul-Haq Wants Extension of ICC World Test Championship Cycle
Sharjeel, after an unconditional apology last year, was allowed to make an early return to competitive cricket from a five=year ban he revived in 2017 for his role in Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixing scandal. Also Read - Coronavirus Crisis: Asia Cup Will Not be Held This Year, Claims BCCI Official
He played for Karachi Kings in PSL 2020 where he managed just 199 runs across 10 innings. Also Read - Pakistan Umpire Aleem Dar Offers Free Food to Needy, Jobless at His Lahore Restaurant During COVID-19 Pandemic
Replying to a Twitter query on Sharjeel’s fitness, Hafeez wrote, “Shouldn’t we set Standards of Dignity & Pride Higher than any other “Extra Talent” to represent Pakistan.”
However, Wasim has taken exception to the criticism asking Hafeez to focus on his own cricket rather than voicing opinion on ‘rights and wrongs’ of players and the board.
“Current players should not be going up on social media to criticise other players or talk about what policies the cricket board should or shouldn’t have,” Wasim told ESPNcricinfi. “They can have their opinions about various things about world cricket and cricket in general but not about the rights and wrongs of players and the boards and they should leave that to cricket board to answer.”
He added, “I will be personally speaking to Mohammad Hafeez about that and I don’t think it’s his place to be doing it. No other player in the world does that so why should our Pakistani players do that? I don’t think they have any space to do that and I don’t think they should be doing that. That’s my personal view. Coming from an English environment, I never saw an English player tweet about policies, procedures, talking about other players’ right or wrong. My view is, he should focus on his own game, focus on the cricketing opinion he can give but don’t give personal opinion about other players.”
Sharjeel played one Test, 25 ODIs and 15 T20Is after bursting onto the international scene as a hard-hitting top-order batsman before his career took a nosedive due to the corruption scandal. Wasim backed his early return saying he has served the ban but needs to show a lot more dedication to be considered fit enough to represent Pakistan again.
“He has done his time, whatever was set. He has carried out that ban. He is back and was picked up by a franchise and he is available to play again. In terms of him getting selected [for Pakistan] going forward, that is up to the selectors. There is a long way for Sharjeel Khan to go before he is considered to play for Pakistan again,” he said.